“Look where you want to go” is the mantra of every performance-driving instructor for good reason: The hands naturally move where the eyes tell them. So, you might want to snag a pair of the new Air Spring sunglasses from Porsche Design (the model ranges from $535 to $625), which claim to both enhance visibility and prevent eye strain. But don’t just take their word for it: During a recent track session at the Porsche Experience Center in sunny Los Angeles, the efficacy of the Air Spring was, dare we say, glaring.
Changes in lighting conditions come fast on the 1.3-mile circuit, yet there was never a lapse in clarity with these aviator-style shades. The Vision Drive Polarized XTR lenses—with four layers, including a contrast enhancer and polarizing filter—shield intense reflection, sharpen depth perception and cut side glint, all with minimal color distortion.
Complementing the visual comfort are the Air Spring frames, named for their secondary pair of titanium hinges that give each temple additional pliability for a secure fit without squeeze. They seem to disappear on the face; you don’t realize you’re wearing them until you have to take them off.
According to Dr. Jan Becker, Porsche Design’s CEO, the new Air Spring sunglasses reflect the company’s slightly different take on the famous design axiom that form follows function, noting that “we really have an equilibrium between both.” He goes on to add, “These Porsche Design sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement, but represent a new lens technology.”
Actor and racer Patrick Dempsey also attests to the eyewear’s value behind the wheel. “On a track day, you want something that’s lightweight and can actually fit under your helmet and not leave an indentation,” Dempsey mentions to Robb Report. And the latter is an important facet for someone who makes a living in front of the camera. “I’ve been working most of this year, and I could wear them on set, in between takes, and they wouldn’t disturb the face at all,” says Dempsey. “It gets back to the whole mentality with the street car. How do you lighten things up? It’s all part of the performance.”